Grange Securities has ambitious plans to grow both its investment banking and asset management capabilities following its acquisition by US financial institution Lehman Brothers for a reported $120 million, according to Glenn Willis, Grange managing director.

“Our growth over the past 11 years has been achieved through the support of our clients and this partnership will enable us to provide them with an enhanced offering,” Willis said in a statement on Friday. “Lehman Brothers’ global network, vast array of products and leading research capabilities offer enormous opportunities.” While the deal, which was announced late last week, was touted as a frontal assault by Lehman on Australia’s investment banking market both Grange and Lehman have asset management businesses they are keen to grow. Lehman owns funds management firm Neuberger Berman as well as Lehman Brothers Asset Management, which service both the institutional and retail market globally. Grange runs a small funds management business which currently features two funds – an enhanced cash product and a high income fund – with Equity Trustees as the responsible entity. Jesse Bhattal, Lehman Brothers Asia chief, said its acquisition of Grange, with whom it already has a working alliance, would establish a beachhead in Australia for growth in several sectors. “We are very excited to work even more closely with a franchise of Grange’s calibre, building on the successful fixed income partnership we have already established to expand Lehman Brothers’ geographic reach into Australia,” Bhattal said in a statement. “With Lehman Brothers, Grange now has the resources and support of a leading global investment bank to broaden its services into other areas of the Australian market.” The deal is expected to be finalised next month with Willis to stay on as head of the Australian operations. Lehman will transfer Ben Harding from the US to take over the role of Grange chief operating officer reporting to Willis and Hyung Lee, Lehman head of equities and fixed income Asia. Grange will retain its name and current chair, former Macquarie executive, Tony Berg, will stay on in the position.

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